Archive for the ‘DINING REVIEW’ Category

Indian Harbor Restaurant–review   Leave a comment

I went into the restaurant for lunch knowing little of Indian food except curries and I left knowing even less. Reading a couple of reviews here, and on a local site, I thought ordering the buffet would give me a selection of different tastes. It did but I have no idea what I tasted.

 

There were three people working in the dining room. I am not sure what the ‘titles’ of the young man and woman were but I’ll guess the female was the server and the male was the busboy though the busboy did most of the serving.. After waiting for awhile we finally sat ourselves and I stopped what looked like the owner–turned out to be the manager–to ask him about the buffet. He said it was $13 (and, I thought, it included a soft drink) and that was the end of the discussion.

 

Nothing further was explained about the buffet and it wasn’t until later when I asked about dessert I found out that the first thing I had tasted was a round ball of something so sweet I couldn’t eat it which was the dessert on the buffet. There were about 8 different hot dishes and I recognized the rice and next to it was a combination of spinach and mushrooms. The rest of the dishes, though having Indian names and one saying vegan, are still a mystery to me. There was a chicken dish in a heavy sauce and I think a tofu dish. By the way the hot dishes weren’t hot.

 

I wish I had written the names of the dishes down so that when I got home I could look them up. Oh yes, I know we had chicken tandorri or at least I think we did, from a review I had read but it tasted more like dried out meat. I did take pictures of the dishes I ate and tried to match them to the pictures the restaurant has on their web site but I didn’t do too good a job.

 

The place had a nautical theme, nothing Indian looking about it. The restaurant looked clean and sleek with butcher sheets on top of white tablecloths and linen napkins. Service was good in the realm of removing used dishes and refilling the water glasses.

I had a diet cola ($2)  and Anthony had a Masala Chai, which he liked, so for the 2 lunch buffets ($13 each) , drinks and tax our lunch check came to $33. 92 plus a tip.

 

I guess I will have to go to another Indian restaurant to find out more about Indian food but I won’t be going back to the Indian Harbor.Indian Harbor Restaurant July 2017

Posted July 19, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

El Guanaco a Ft. Lauderdale restaurant review   Leave a comment

El Guanaco Collage

I have never, that I know of, had Salvadoran food so when I saw a groupon for this restaurant I decided to give it a try.

The servers were busy and without hesitation the busboy sat us, gave us menus, took our drink order and brought them. We were served chips and salsa at which time the server came over.

If I had been in the mood for Mexican I would have tried one of their fajitas as I usually judge a Mexican restaurant by that dish and Allen ordered the Seafood Fajita ($15) and it did look good. Glancing over the menu I decided to ask the server, Carmen, for a suggestion  for a guy who wasn’t familiar with Salvadoran food  and she said the Salvadoran Combo appetizer ($14) which I did order and with a choice of steak, pork or chicken chunks, I chose the chicken. The plate consisted of 2 Chicken tacos, Pupusa which I had never heard of, fried Yuca (as spelled on the take out menu) with pickled cabbage, Salvadoran cream and cheese, red sauce and salsa verde.

I can only judge a restaurant by what I am served and it really hurts me to say the only good thing on the plate was the Chicken tacos. The chunks, Pupusa and Yuca was over-fried and beyond crispy and the salsa, red sauce and Salvadoran cream added nothing to the rest. The pickled cabbage was interesting in that it seemed to be between a slaw made with vinegar and sauerkraut.

Allen had the coconut flan for dessert ($3.50), which he said was one of the best he ever had, along with an iced tea (($2.50) while I had (a strong) American coffee ($1.50)

The restaurant looks like a mom and pop operation with 4 booths and about 5 tables plus a counter with about 5 seats with the tables having all black or white tablecloths. There were 6 people working and they were working constantly! And too small a place for two televisions!

Our check came to $38.69 before the groupon’s $20 discount which brought it down to $18.69. 

They do have what looks and reads a good children’s menu.

 

I don’t know if this will make sense to you but I was disappointed in being disappointed at El Guanaco.

Posted June 26, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, Uncategorized

MidiCi–a restaurant review   Leave a comment

 Midici Restaurant collage

I should have followed my instincts after reading  about Midici–my immediate reaction was that it was another Flash Fire Pizza and/or Pizza Fusion and basically that was what it was! It may be bigger, brighter and newer but, unlike other reviewers I saw no hint of ‘full service available’ which I would have done because I am not into that new trend of in-between full service and fast food.

“Hooked us up with tons of delicious service'”? Not when I was there. “The Staff is super friendly”? They weren’t rude or anything but not even friendly though the cashier, who also brought our pies over, had a nice smile and did check back to see if we were doing okay.

Allen, who uses a cane, complained that the straws, soda machine, condiments, etc., were on the other side of the very long room and should either be placed on each side or in the center, though it isn’t designed that way. (Where is the full service when you need it?) He did love the tree growing in the dining room though he wasn’t sure if it was real even if it was planted in the ground. :O)

Let’s get down to the bottom line which is the pizza we ordered, both of us having the Margarita red marinara pizza ($7.50 each) and diet cokes ($2.50 each)

On a little card served on the plate with the pizza it said, “Our signature dough–light, thin, soft, chewy with a high airy crust’ was all that but, sorry, I like fat, heavy, chewy crust. Also I like a heavy sauce and cheese but was not aware that there wasn’t cheese on the regular pizza–my bad but… To me the pizza was more of an appetizer with drinks, if I was having beer or alcohol.

 At the first I thought the $7.50 was a reasonable  price but without cheese and a very, very cracker thin like crust along with the lightest of sauces I am not sure about that now.

Now don’t get me wrong as I am not saying Midici’s is ‘bad’ but it is just not for MY tastes.

By the way it does have one of the classiest men’s room I have seen in a long time!

In their favor I didn’t see a television though their music was a couple of beats too loud for an almost empty room.

PS I have received a few very nice comments from the manager Mike, not at all combative or defensive.

Miller’s Ale House restaurant review   Leave a comment

Millers Ale House collage

While I was in the store food shopping I gave Allen my coupons–yes I am a coupon clipper and a groupon buyer so I can afford to eat out–and after he went through them he picked the one for 20% off at Miller’s Ale House because he wanted the Thursday special of Prime Rib. I had been here years ago when it first opened, thought it was okay and never gave it a second thought. Well today I changed my mind as everything was the way a restaurant should be with good food, excellent service, good portions and decent prices.

We both had the Prime Rib which was a 12 ounce slice (special price $13.99 minus $2.80 coupon) which was tender and cooked rare just as I wanted. It came with a baked potato, cole slaw and souffle cups of au jus, butter and sour cream. I had coffee ($1.49 minus $0.30) and Allen had a diet soda ($2.95 minus $0.59) with our check coming to $27.49 including $1.56 in tax and we left a $8 tip.

Our server–his name tag said Tim but the receipt says Harold–couldn’t have been better.

Now if we could get rid of the  20+ television sets! LOL

P.S. Parking is in the rear and with a rainy day like today with the entrance in the front you are going to get wet. The restaurant  is large enough that they could at least put in a side entrance so people wouldn’t come in dripping and with umbrellas dripping on the floor and some putting them on the seat near them leaving that wet.

Also very seldom will you get the coupon discount on a special and this was a dinner special at lunch time. I mentioned it to the waiter twice and he finally checked it out with the manager who said that it was okay–I don’t think it will work next time.

Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken Restaurant–a review   Leave a comment

Spatch Restaurant collage

After reading Michael Mayo’s rave review in the Sun-Sentenial, and it being Thursday, when I always eat lunch out, we decided to give Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken Restaurant a try.

Their menu is based on chicken whether in a sandwich, on a platter, part of a salad or even a side. I had ‘The Spatch” chicken sandwich which was excellent, with a side of coleslaw, not so excellent as there wasn’t really a taste to it even though made with raisins and almonds, for $8.90 (Unless you have time to study the menu your receipt could be a little confusing until you realize that a $2.50 side is included for $2.) In addition I had a soda which was $2.30 with as many refills as you want. My check with tax came to $11.87

Allen had the chicken breast meal with grilled corn ($10.95) and a soda ($2.30) and with tax came to $14.05 He thought the chicken was too dry, more about that in a minute, and didn’t particularly care for the corn.

Anthony had the Mac and Cheese bowl with chicken for $7.95 and his check came to $8.43 He felt it didn’t have enough bread crumbs and I brought up that I don’t ever recall having Mac ‘n Cheese with bread crumbs. Do make your Mac ‘n cheese with bread crumbs? Also the kid’s Mac & cheese says nothing about having bread crumbs in it.

Unless you take the menu and step out of the way and read it before you go up to order there is pressure in ordering especially when the question of sauce(s) comes up.

Mayo had written about the service but since this is one of those fast-casual eateries there isn’t much of that and what we got was minimal.  Either the buzzer system wasn’t working or it was off because two wrong plates were brought to our table. Nothing said about the various sauces being available for the table and except for giving our order and the meals brought to our table we had no interaction with any of the help.

Spatch is a new trendy restaurant almost interchangeable with many of the new trendy restaurants. The prices are reasonable, the chicken sandwich is a winner but for me it is a onetime experience.

I do suggest you go to their web site and get familiar with the menu before your visit.

It is on the east side of Federal between Oakland Park and Commercial Boulevards next door to the newest Fresh Market in the 3800 block.

PS And I hope this is a new trend–NO TV!

Posted May 16, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, Uncategorized

Courtyard Cafe–A Restaurant Review   Leave a comment

 Courtyard Cafe collage March 30 2017

It has been four years since I wrote a review of this restaurant but basically it stays the same: pleasant surroundings (one unobtrusive TV behind the counter), good service by Douglas, good food not overpriced, with the feel of what it is, being a neighborhood restaurant. In the heart of Wilton Manors, the city island,the Courtyard Cafe has been a mainstay of the community for years.

I had the cheeseburger ($8.75) with potato salad, just one of the side dishes offered. It was cooked the way I asked, served on a fresh bun, and the potato salad was tasty. With it I had a cup of fresh coffee ($2.50) and no problem getting a refill.

Allen had a hamsteak, eggs, toast, potatoes for $6.80.

Our check, for two, with tax and tip came to $24.13

As always a pleasant afternoon lunch at the dependable Courtyard Cafe without hassles though the parking system has changed.

It has a wide ranging selection of foods on its menu with various special items. While it is starting to get too warm to eat outside their courtyard dining is always comfortable and fun.

(Being a creature of habit it is Thursday which is my cheeseburger day but, I promise, my next meal will be something else.)

 

For the complete menu, and a free meal on your birthday, go to: wwwWiltonManorsCourtyard…

2 Restaurant reviews: Giuliano’s & Joe’s Crab Shack in Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment

Giuliano’s restaurant joins about 50 other restaurants in a square mile ranging a smorgasbord of many tastes including seafood, steaks, Thai, burgers, Chinese, Mexican, etc., while also ranging in prices from Denny’s to Mezzaluna Bistro to Burger Fi, I Love Mac & Cheese, Panero’s, Outback, Gilbert’s, Tropical Smoothies, Chef’s Palette,  etc., plus at least 4 other Italian restaurants.

In other words a restaurant has to stand out here for price, service and/or food. Giuliano’s is a small, well appointed place with just average food and prices. Allen had the lunch special for the day of Baked Ziti ($6.98) while I had the Chicken Parmigiana platter ($8.98) with a side of pasta. I had coffee ($2.50) while he had a diet Coke ($2.50) both served with garlic rolls.

The Ziti was okay just as the Chicken Parmigiana was though nothing special and, basically, what we would get in any other Italian restaurant.

We did have a coupon which included the lunch special for free when ordering a basic dinner platter so with tax and tip our check came to a total of $20.

The service was good but the server has to learn the little things that add to a meal like offering grated cheese and/or crushed red peppers with pasta plus a soup spoon with spaghetti.

There is nothing ‘bad’ with Giuliano’s but nothing at the same time making me want to come back.

Joe’s Crab Shack

 Joe's Crab Shack March 2017 Collage

Joe’s Crab Shack is like hundreds of other seafood houses from Maine to Florida to California with high prices, a unremarkable menu and mediocre food. Oh yes the typical wall and ceiling hangings

We both had the East Coast Platter ($19.29 each) consisting of a piece of fried fish, 3 almost burnt shrimp, a lump crab cake and too well done fried clam strips served with cole slaw and fries. Allen had diet Coke ($2.79) and I had coffee ($2.79) For both of us the check, plus tax and tip, came to $56.81 for lunch.

With many seafood restaurants in Fort Lauderdale like the 15th Street Fisheries, the Sea Watch, Catfish Dewey’s and the Boatyard, just to mention a few, Joe’s Crab Shack would be one of the last places I would come to again as I really don’t remember what any of the food tasted like.

Posted March 15, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

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